Friday, November 05, 2010

WW2 Casuatlies of Fulstow, Lincolnshire

The Fulstow War Memorial plaque (Dedicated 2008)

The Fulstow War Memorial Plaque, seen in the photograph above was dedicated in 2008. It commemorates the Fallen of the village in both World Wars. The WW1 names, 10 of them, are listed on the left and the WW2 names, 5 of them, are listed on the right.

For additional information click on ‘Comments’ below


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

(1) Dedication of the Fulstow War Memorial

Why did Fulstow, Lincolnshire only get a war memorial for the first time more than 60 years after the end of WW2 and 90 years after the end of WW1? War memorials can be seen in a conspicuous location in Fulstow's neighbouring towns and villages. For many years the Fulstow War Memorial was conspicuous by the fact there was none.

The reason was because one of the casualties of the 1914 - 1918 war was court-maritalled for desertion, sentenced to death and shot by his own troops. It appears that after the war - when virtually ever other nearby community was commissioning a war memorial for those who had died - there were some who objected to this serviceman's name being put on the memorial. Bereaved relatives of some of the others felt that either all the men of the village should be commemorated or none of them should. Hence no war memorial was erected.

After the end of WW2 many towns and villages added the names of the 'Fallen' of 1939 - 1945 to their existing memorial for the 1914 - 1918 war dead. However, as Fulstow had no WW1 memorial then there was going to be no WW2 memorial either. Except, that is, until once the village community agreed that a war memorial was to be dedicated it would remember the 'Fallen' of the village from both World Wars. The Fulstow war memorial campaign and its eventual dedication received national and international media coverage.

The memorial reads as follows:

This plaque is dedicated to the men and women of Fulstow who gave their lives for our freedom. We will never forget.

There appears to be a few small discrepancies on the memorial (a date of death and a service rank). However, this is the complete of those commemorated on the Fulstow War Memorial (names only):

(1914 - 1918): Arthur West, George Sutton Taylor, Tom Wattam, Albert S. Sherriff, Herbert Harrison, Charles H. Kirman, Harold Pennell, Herbert E. Green, George Marshall, Charles Hyde.

(1939 - 1945): Marjorie Sutton, Viola Wells, Thomas (Tom) Marshall, Claude Marriott, John Stanley Maddison.


Sunday, 07 November, 2010  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

(2) Fulstow's WW2 Casualties

(a) Private Marjorie Sutton, Service No: W/129269, Age: 24, Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service (A.T.S.);
(b) Sergeant Viola Wells, Service No: W/18246, Age: 23, Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service (A.T.S.).

Private Marjorie Sutton and Sergeant Viola Wells were among 26 A.T.S. personnel killed during a German air raid when the hotel in which they were billeted at North Way, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk had a direct hit. The date was 11 May 1943 and they were laid to rest in Great Yarmouth (Caister) Cemetery. Marjorie Sutton is in Section M Grave 541. Viola Wells is in Section M Grave 555.

Sergeant Viola Wells was married (maiden name Marriott). The CWGC website records her husband, Wilfred Wells of Hunslet, West Riding of Yorkshire as her next of kin. What it does not mention is that a brother of Mrs Wells, Sergeant Claude Marriott, 1st Airborne Division also lost his life in the war [see (d) below]. For some reason the Fulstow War Memorial lists the service rank of Viola Wells as a Private rather than the rank of Sergeant as on the CWGC website.

(c) Gunner Thomas (Tom) Marshall, Service No: 1144437, Age: 22, 68th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

Gunner Thomas Marshall was serving with the 68th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery and part of the 10th Indian Division and taking part in the Italian campaign. After Rome came into Allied hands in June 1944 the 10th Indian Division pursued the German troops withdrawing further north up the Tiber valley. Gunner Marshall was killed in action on 21 July 1944 and laid to rest at Assisi War Cemetery, Italy (Grave X.C.4).

(d) Sergeant Claude Marriott, Service No: 2657028, Age: 27, Glider Pilot Regiment, Army Air Corps
(attached 1st Airborne Division)

Sergeant Claude Marriott was serving with the Glider Pilot Regiment taking part in the Allied airborne assault on the bridges over the Rhine in September 1944. It fell to the 1st Airborne Division to take and hold the last bridge at Arnhem, the last major bridge over the Rhine at Arnhem. The plan was that this would bring forward the end of the war. It might even result in ultimate Allied victory by the end of 1944. The date for the assault was 17 September 1944. Victory in this battle was not to be won and it was to be a costly in the number of lives lost.

One of those who lost his life was Sergeant Claude Marriott of Fulstow, who died on 21 September 1944. He was eventually buried in the Arnhem / Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Netherlands (Grave 3.C.8). It was not the first loss Sergeant Marriott's family had suffered because of the war. His sister, Sergeant Viola Wells, was one of the earlier Fulstow casualties killed by a German bomb at Great Yarmouth on 11 May 1943. Such are the things that can happen in wartime.

(e) Trooper John Stanley Maddison, Service No: 4802281, 13th / 18th Royal Hussars, Royal Armoured Corps
(8th Armoured Brigade)

The war in Europe ended with an Allied victory on 8 May 1945 (VE Day). But this did not mean the end of people getting killed. One of those who lost his life while still serving with the Forces in Europe after V.E. Day) was Trooper John Stanley Maddison of Fulstow, who lost his life as the result of an accident while part of the British troops occupying northern Germany. The date of his death was 21 December 1945 - just days before Christmas. He is buried in Hanover War Cemetery, Germany (Grave 14.B.16).


Sunday, 07 November, 2010  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

(3) A WW2 air crash over Fulstow

Mainly because of its location on the eastern English coast - and therefore close to the European mainland - during WW2 Lincolnshire had several bases for Bomber Command Squadrons. As a consequence, Lincolnshire became known as "The Bomber County".

One of the Bomber Command bases in Lincolnshire was RAF Grimsby, actually at Holton-le-Clay about 4 miles (7 kms) north of Fulstow and about 10 miles (16 Kms) north of Louth. By December 1943 RAF Grimsby was the base for 100 Squadron and 550 Squadron. Both squadrons were part of No 1 Group.

Just before Christmas 1943, on the night of 23 / 24 December, Lancaster III Bomber ND327 HW (100 Squadron) and Lancaster III ED730 BQ-G2 (550 Squadron) took off from RAF Grimsby. The night's operation was a mission to Berlin. Neither aircraft would actually make it very far.

At 00.40 on 24 December 1943 there was a collision at 12,000 feet above Fulstow with the loss of all 14 aircrew and aircraft debris spread over an area centred on Fulstow. Some buildings were hit by debris, including the Methodist Chapel at nearby North Thoresby (about 2 miles / 3 kms north of Fulstow) but fortunately there were no civilian casualties.

There were many such air crashes in Lincolnshire during WW2. Mostly, news of what happened was restricted during the war years. However, the Lincolnshire Aviation Museum and Heritage Centre at what the former RAF East Kirkby (near Spilsby) has since created an archive and displays of the many crashes and Bomber Command losses of the war.

For example, Lancaster III JB594 HW-0 of 100 Squadron and Lancaster I DV343 BQ-X2 of 550 Squadron were also lost on the same mission to Berlin. Both these aircraft were lost without trace. In terms of human life this meant the loss of another 14 aircrew, one of them only 18 years old. With no known identifiable grave for any of the 14 crew of these two aircraft, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission remembers them on the Runneymede Memorial in southern England.

With regards to the 14 aircrew that died in the Fulstow crash, none of them were buried locally. Nor are they commemorated on the Fulstow War Memorial. Of these 14 aircrew 4 were from the Commonwealth (2 in each crew) serving either with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) or the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The remains of these 4 were interred at Cambridge City Cemetery.

The British-based aircrew killed in the Fulstow crash whose bodies were recovered were buried near their homes. The airman whose body was not recovered (Sergeant Robert W. Theobold of South Norwood, London) is for some reason commemorated on the CWGC Malta Memorial. One may reasonably have expected him to have been commemorated on the Runneymede Memorial.

Monday, 08 November, 2010  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

(4) The aircrew who died in the Fulstow crash of 23 / 24 December 1943

(a) Aircrew of Lancaster III ND327 HW, 100 Squadron
Flight Sergeant William R. Cooper (Pilot), aged 21 of Harrow, Middlesex
Sergeant Gordon W. Clayton (Flight Engineer), aged 20 of Walgrave, Northamptonshire
Sergeant Alan R. Laurence (Navigator), aged 21 of Hatfield, Hertfordshire
Sergeant George W. Guest, RCAF (Bomb Aimer), aged 20 of Stonewall, Manitoba, Canada
Sergeant Robert W. Theobald (Wireless Operator), aged 20 of South Norwood, London
Sergeant Joseph A. Jordan, RCAF (Air Gunner), aged 21 of London, Ontario, Canada
Sergeant John (Jack) Rawson (Air Gunner), aged 31 of Wickersly, Yorkshire

(b) Aircrew of Lancaster III ED730 BQ-G2
Sergeant Hubert F.J. Woods (Pilot), aged 21 of Bedminster, Bristol
Sergeant David G. Davies (Flight Engineer), aged 22 of Neath, Glamorgan, South Wales
Sergeant Montague Giles (Navigator), aged 22 of Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Flight Sergeant Joseph E. Legere, RCAF (Bomb Aimer), aged 24 of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Sergeant Leonard F. Wright (Wireless Operator), age N/K, of Hereford, Herefordshire
Sergeant John C. Atherton, RAAF (Air Gunner), aged 30 of Teneriffe, Queensland, Australia
Sergeant John McConnell (Air Gunner), aged 19 of Motherwell, Lanarkshire



1. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

2. Chorley, W.R. (1996), "Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War", Vol. 4 (1943),
Midland Counties Publications, Shilton, Leicestershire. ISBN 0 904597 90 3

3. RAF East Kirkby Museum, Lincolnshire

4. The villagers of Fulstow, Lincolnshire


Monday, 08 November, 2010  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

In October 2010 I contacted the CWGC about why Sergeant Robert Walter Theobald was commemorated by them on the Malta memorial rather than at the one at Runneymede. The CWGC Malta Memorial commemorates the airmen who died during WW2 who have no known grave and were flying from bases in Austria, Italy, Sicily, the Adriatic islands, West Africa and the rest of the Mediterranean area.

Clearly, Sergeant Thoeobald, a member of 100 Squadron operating from a base in Lincolnshire, eastern England was not flying from one of the Mediterranean bases at the time of his death. However, the place where a particular war casualty is commemorated was based on information supplied to them by the services after the war. They do not hold service records to check out apparent discrepancies of this nature.

There is no obvious reason for Sergeant Thobald to be commemorated at Malta rather than Runneymede. The most likely explanation is that there was an administrative error made immediately after WW2 when the information was collated and submitted to the Commission.

Monday, 08 November, 2010  
Blogger pike said...

Nice piece on Fulstow

Well done

Nicky Pike

Wednesday, 21 September, 2011  
Blogger pike said...

Nice piece on Fulstow Memorial

Well done


Wednesday, 21 September, 2011  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Thanks very much for your kind comments, Nicky Pike.

Although the Fulstow war memorial is relatively modern and compared to many other memorials it commemorates only a small number of casualties it has a remarkable story behind it. It is to the great credit of the villagers that led to its dedication in 2005. The many young villagers who gave their lives in the World Wars were not forgotten after all.

Even though I had relatives living near Fulstow and I had passed through it many times before the dedication of the war memorial I had not even realised the village did not have a memorial! So one fine day in October 2010 I thought I would take a look at the Fulstow war memorial and ask one or two locals about it. They are quite proud of it, and it certainly brought the village together in a common cause.

In fact Fulstow has its own website pages about the war memorial. These include some biographical details of the WW1 casualties and photographs of the dedication of the memorial in November 2005.

To read the Fulstow villagers own story about its memorial:

Click here

Tuesday, 27 September, 2011  
Blogger pike said...

Thanks it took a lot of hard work to get the memorial. On the day of the dedication I asked some of the younger 2kids" of the village if they would come & represent those on the memorial and they did.

14 of them the same ages as those on the memorial. They stood in line and just said "I'm here to represent (the same of the person) who was the same age as me now ..(then they gave the age)"

It was a very very proud & emotional day for Fulstow

Each Remembrance Sunday, we hold a service now followed by a 3-course lunch for the bargin price of £15 per head (advert) all the ingredients (were possible) & the meat come from the village.

Fulstow waited 94years so we don't intend forgetting any time soon

Nicola Pike Fulstow

Tuesday, 27 September, 2011  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...


Well done to you and all the villagers in finally getting the memorial.

(Incidentally, my relatives live in nearby North Cotes).

Wednesday, 28 September, 2011  
Anonymous David gillies said...

Firstly...congratulations for all of your great work in creating this memorial. Fantastic work :)
I am well aware that this is a long shot, but my great uncle, Raymond Gillies was the mis-upper-gunner on lanc DV343 of 550squadron ; one of the planes that went missing on the evening of the collision. Nobody seems to have any information of what happened, whether there is any wreckage, whether there are any photos of him (and his plane/crew) Rays brother (my grandad) is as desperate as I am for some resolve. He has never been able to fully come to terms with his brothers death, and I am desperate to know more about my hero. Any information would be kindly received!
Once again, well done on the tremendous work
Kind regards,
David Gillies

Monday, 28 July, 2014  

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